5 minutes makes a difference…

6:23 a.m. Rushing in every way I can, I turn the corner and run into the dog trying not to trip over my own two feet.  I make sure the laundry is done and hung, dishes washed and drying on their rack. Oh don’t forget to pack lunch, a honey turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, strawberries, a tangerine, 3 soft batch chocolate chip cookies, a small package of white cheddar pop corn, and a blue gatorade to wash it all down.  This would be an acceptable lunch for my morning / afternoon commute of daily door to door salesman armed with a stethoscope, the BLUE DEVIL foam pad for balance, and an array of physical terrorist moves sure to keep any patient at arms length… faking yet another of their best colds, however… this belongs to my beloved son.  I’m, lucky… if I get a cup of coffee or hot tea in, headed out the door, and trying not to end up with caffeine for my daily look as I spill it  down my grey mundane mom leggings and best work out shirt while running for the car.   6:52 a.m.  “Have your backpack?” I yell, “what about your book, oh wait, here don’t forget your lunch!”  Where are those dang keys?? !  “oh Mom, I have them!” and off  we go.

Five minutes makes or breaks you at this time of the morning.  Rushing around the curves, but oh so careful as we don’t want to roll over while we long contemplate whether or not to take the “short cut” and put her in (SPORT MODE)…. That is the question of the day!  Pushing her around the bin and over the speed bumps, one bump at a time x’s like 50… and we arrive just in time to see the slew of traffic coming with just enough space to slide her in between the dump truck and the person driving 40 when clearly the speed limit is 55.  Hit the gas and away we go!   “Oh shoot, it’s 7:03 a.m.  I think we missed it.”  The radio hasn’t been touched yet this morning as we made our way down the raceway.  I turn to the station and quickly realize we are in luck, the show is running just a tad behind, and we place our hands over our hearts as the pledge of allegiance plays over the speakers, followed by a slightly chilling rendition of the National Anthem.   Slowing now to a crawl, we approach the school zone.   However this is not where we are going, just passing through.  And then we’re off again.  I look out over the water… To the left, salt water, with an anchored boat and some pelicans flying near by or perching on the power lines.  To my Right, the lake, water smooth as glass, with a reflection that makes me kick myself for not having my camera handy.  “oh well… I’ll take some pictures later on”.

Finally we approach the school.  Making it after all, 7:15 a.m. Thank goodness, he’ll at least have 10 mins to walk with his friends before the bell.   Slowing to a stop,  I have learned to be careful to watch for all those people who don’t pay half the attention they should when crossing a busy road with precious cargo in tow, but hey, what can ya do.  “Put your book down baby, we are here” I say as we near the drop off line.  The place where children look like rockstars and their parents anywhere from suites and ties to just rolled off the bathroom floor after a night of heavy drinking.  Speckled with “helpers” to assist the children out of their seats and on their way to their daily dose of learning about “nothing ” as my son informs me on a regular.  Standing  there with coffee in one hand and waving us to the front of the line with the other, like a traffic control person without lights.  “Uh, hello, we do this every day.  !”   Anywho, ” I love you! Have a wonderful day !” I advise as he gathers his things and heads out the door,” Do good on your spelling test! , I know you will!”.  “Love you too Mom, have a good day”.  He closes the door and then pushes off towards the walking track to be left to the charge of some questionable, however mostly respected and trusted parties for the rest of the day, until I arrive after a long day at work to pick him up.

-Rushing always-

-Lou-

My Place of Peace. . .


I live in a place where most tend to vacation.  White Sandy beaches, beautiful sunsets, the glistening of crashing waves and the sounds of serenity..  But in that very place my world is surrounded by the every day of hustle and bustle, ins and outs of the unseen, the everyday non glamorous normal life and then it’s time to escape. Escape to a place where time comes to a slow, crawling even to a stop at times.  A place where there is that same hustle and bustle but for me the unfamiliar faces and curteous gestures that paint a place of the unknown.  Even if just for a long weekend, or a day or two the peace is worth the sleepless drive, and exhausting trip for those 24-48 hrs of retreat! With calm and steady, no schedule and lots of love ! Naps during the day and beautiful scenery that displays mountains and mole hills alike in adventure and fun, and tranquility in one.  Lending me it’s beauty while restoring my soul for just a bit longer. 

-In my Happy Place-

-Lou-

My Oh My Peach Pie

 

Summer time treats take me to a time of my childhood, when life was easy peasy, where I could run and play, climb trees and catch lightening bugs.  Simpler times, playing in the sun, laughing with my friends, and being completely and utterly unaware of the hardships of life.  This recipe takes me back to that time.  Growing up in Georgia, We always had plenty of peaches around.  Sweet, juicy peaches, the ideal of satisfying, summer refreshment, aside from lemonade of course.  So I’d like to share with you this delectable Peach Pie recipe..   And also, the recipe for your crust! Light and flakey! and Oh sooo tasty!!. 🙂

 

Ingredients:

For the Crust-  (this recipe uses a food processor to make your crust)

  • 2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Cup unsalted butter- cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 Tablespoons of ice water
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

 

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, salt and butter in a food processor, and pulse until mixture resembles course crumbs.
  2. Stir water and vinegar together in a small bowl.
  3. Pour half of the ice water/vinegar mixture into the flour/butter mixture and pulse to combine.  Pour remaining ice water mixture and pulse until just combined.
  4. Pour dough out onto a lightly floured wooden surface, and form into a ball, divide and pat each side into a flat disc about 5 in across.

cover with plastic and refrigerate x at least 30mins or longer.

I must admit, had never made homemade pie crust before this, and was a bit intimidated.. however this turned out to be so wonderful. Light and flakey, it stayed together, and was just perfect.  Credit for this crust recipe goes to Chef John here-  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/220996/easy-homemade-pie-crust/

For the filling

  • 1/2 Cup of sugar
  • 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 Cups of sliced peeled peaches ( I used fresh peaches, and used 7 good sized peaches)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon of lemon juice ( I used fresh from half of a lemon )
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine sugars; add peaches and toss gently. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim even with edge. Set aside. (I used a homemade crust recipe for this but you can use store bought as well).  Drain peaches, reserving juice.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; gradually stir in reserved juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice and butter. Gently fold in peaches. Pour into crust.
  3. Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust, or you can just place the pie crust over the top,  Trim, seal and flute edges. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 400° for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove foil. Cool on a wire rack.

Credit for pie recipe goes to: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/peach-pie

Tips:

  • Before I filled my pie crust with my filling, I sprinkled “crust dust” all over the bottom (equal parts of all purpose flour and granulated sugar) to keep the crust from getting soggy!
  • I also brushed the top of the crust (prior to placing the foil on) with an egg wash for a beautiful golden color!
  • Pair with vanilla icecream and you have yourself a wonderful treat! Enjoy!

Hope these tips help in your baking adventure! 🙂

This recipe is just fabulous and takes the cake when making a delicious desert that everyone will love and keep coming back for more!

-Enjoying this tasty treat-

-Lou-

Wanderlust Soul.

She filled the room full of charm,

as she sat alone through the storm,

the storm of her life,

as she carved away with a knife.

and through the struggles and fear,

whether, far or near,

Although her sweet sweet sound,

she would spread all around.

Like butterflies and gold,

with, her wanderlust soul,

she would smile as she’d say,

I love you, Always.

And through the pain and the tears,

the memories and the fears,

she would hold her head high,

and smile her sweet sweet smile.

Loved and Adored ,

she kept, moving forward,

lending all her trust,

knew it, she must.

how the tears would flow,

how this heartache would go,

Enjoying the life she finally could live in,

While making her way up to Heaven.

-Missing you my dear friend-

-Lou-

Unexpectedly … the expected happens.

 

We live in a world full of  uncanny things, beyond our recognition sometimes.  Things happen and we don’t know why.  It’s hard to understand the life we sometimes live. People come and people go, here and there, to and fro, and every once in a while someone will stay, stay in your life, close to your heart.  Maybe close by, or separated by distance, you may talk every week or just now and then, but you know the love and friendship, the bond you share picks right up where you left off.  I am one very lucky girl, because I have a lot of those people in my life, people who are close to my heart, and in their own way, make my life complete.

You can never prepare for the loss of ANYONE… be it a family member, a friend, a loved one of any kind.  Even if it is expected, the news comes unexpectedly.  Right in the middle of LIFE… Ball games, frustration, fun times and stress, work, and school, just trying to hang on one thread at a time.  Life is unfair, and as you try and sift through all the emotions heartache brings, you realize that the joy lies in remembering the good times, and the funny ones, the fun times and the positivity that always shined through.

A friend of mine passed away today. She lived up north and I down south, we didn’t talk every day, and with what she was going through, really not to much at all here lately, but when we did, we picked up right where we left off. We have been friends for a long time now, we worked together many years ago.  She understood me, and I her. She had this vivacious love for life, she was a hopeless romantic, and a kindred spirit.  She loved a happy ending and had a heart and soul bigger than this world.  She loved people, and had this way of making others smile. Her road was tough, most of her life in fact, but she was loved by many.  She has been fighting a fight for many years now, and lost her fight tonight. She was consumed with sweet words for others, and love for all those she met, and as much as they said “any time now”, it seems to be the hardest thing yet.

I don’t know if she knew how I felt, she was like a soul sister, an angel who brightened my day. And I can only hope that she knew that all of those who she touched with her words, her kindness and her soul, they held her in their hearts until she finally let go.  Tell those who mean something to you, that you love them, make sure you take the time to stop , even when life happens, and let them know how much you care!

Through the tears, and the hurt and pain, I see your smile, and know you are happy once again.  Soar high with angels my sweet friend, I love you now, and will until we meet again.

-Oh to see you fly among angels-

-with tears streaming down my face-

-Lou-

 

Creamy Sweet Pea Chicken and Rice

Everyone loves chicken and rice, it is a staple of comfort food that is just asked for over and over in my house, along side my Chicken and Dumplings… but that’s for another post! Anywho I thought I’d put a little spin on it and make it a little more cozy. Fall is quickly approaching, and we will be yearning for those tuck us in and keep us warm delicious  dishes and why not start now with tomorrow being opening game day for this season! College Football Season that is!  Cooler weather, bon fires, hoodies, Pumpkin spiced everything, The holidays, and FOOTBALL!! here in the south we live for our beaches, and our football!!  So here goes…

This recipe is as easy as it is good and comforting.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large package bone in, skin on chicken (I used thighs, legs, wings)
  • 2 containers of Knorr  Homestyle Chicken Stock concentrate (there are 4 in a package)
  • 1 package 10oz yellow rice (I used Mahatma)
  • 2 (10.75oz ea) Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1/4-1/2 can milk
  • 1 can of sweet green peas

 

Directions:

  1. Fill your pot with about 1-2 Cups of water and place 1 of the containers of Knorrs chicken stock into water, boil until dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and add chicken , fill pot rest of the way with water just to top of chicken (it is ok if a tiny bit of your chicken sticks above the water, this will cook down).  Add 2nd container of concentrated chicken stock. Boil until chicken is cooked and juices run clear.
  3. In separate pot, cook your rice as directed on packaging.
  4. In a third pot put 1 can of Cream of chicken soup mixed with about a 1/3rd can of milk, wish together over low heat until mixed well, add 2nd can of soup and milk mixing until you have the consistency you desire
  5. In another pot, pour your peas and cook over low heat until warm.
  6. When your chicken is done and juices run clear, remove chicken, place in a bowl to cool.
  7. Remove skin and discard, debone chicken and place good chicken in separate bowl.
  8. Place cooked Rice into bowl with deboned chicken, followed by your sweet peas, and lastly your chicken soup mixture.
  9. Stir gently , until fully incorporated and add salt and pepper to taste (optional… I didn’t add any).

10. Voila!! Scoop and enjoy!!

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Hope you enjoy this easy, cozy, anytime dish ! It’s an original twist on an all time favorite!!

-Yummy Tasting-

-Lou-

Hanging by a thread…

Over the cliff I went… or so it may have appeared in my sudden yet what seems significantly lengthy absence from this wonderful world of writing.  But when a dam breaks at 2am …. through your nose and throat, and you wake in a haste and snot is flying… well… it can’t be good.  Pouring from every orifice it seems, and to top it off it didn’t take away that pounding headache I had already been dealing with for a whole week.  Did I mention I don’t get headaches.  So off to school it was to take my little one, and then back home.

Calling in sick..  is just something I don’t do.  I work and put my best effort forward to trudge along through the icky and the sticky as much as I can, but when your body is so chilled you feel like you’re going to shiver off the side of the bed,  calling into work seems to the be the only legitimate option you have, that unless you want to send shockwaves of muck and yuck with flares of green slime through your patient list.

So here we go, gonna kick this thing right in the ass!!  Long sleeved shirt √, long pants√, socks (really? socks, who wears socks to bed) anywho.. √ and 2 comforters√…  and I was still freezing, but the sweat started to pour. And  I mean pour!! I was sweating my ass off!! Then came the aches… my jaw felt like I had been in a bar room brawl with 10 grown men, beaten down to a tiny nothing, and my hips just ached like I had ridden a bucking bull.. my scalp was sensitive to touch and all I wanted to do was perform whatever ritualistic exorcism I needed to, to get this demon out of me!!   To say it was unpleasant would be just a tiny understatement.

Fast forward a day.  Fever broke  “HALLELUYA”!, no more chills “STILL SINGING” but feeling really crappy still, sore throat, congestion and runny nose if that makes any sense, couch, aches are gone, but pressure, oh the pressure “I THINK MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE”!!!, but… it didn’t. so no worries! 😉  anywho, off to school to take my little and then to the Dr.  What’s that you say doc, no test for the flu, a severe sinus infection?? Dehydration?? No work for another day?? Geeze… A girl cant catch a break.. oh well, so as I sometimes do and second guess this woman’s judgement with fairly foggy intention I slug along to the pharmacy to drop off my scripts for antibiotics.. annnnnd a steroid (which , by the way I don’t seem to do too well with but we will see how it goes), never taken prednisone before.  An hr?? nope, going back to bed, see yall later.

Picking up my meds, and I am more than OVER this headache!  “Try the big boy stuff says the pharmacist” , I did… like 2 at a time , didn’t touch it, ok, so they tell me I need Sudafed..   Alright already, just give me my meds so I can take them and get well!

3pm…  meds in me and back home to bed..   3am…. Ive had NO sleep at all , and am W I D E awake! This can’t be happening!!  Who knew.. the potion to heal would be my sleep deprived demise.. Well, it felt that way anyhow.

Back to work.. Hurry guys get up! Although I couldn’t sleep, and I still wasn’t feeling my best… today was a BIG day! no, scratch that… a  HUGE day.. You know those things you plan for, make everything just right and do the best you can to prepare for, but never ever really can.  That moment, so scary that you hold your breath hoping and wishing you weren’t the lucky pick of the bunch.. Yep, well, that fell through, I guess I left that damn magic wand somewhere because guess who was picked , with a handful of other lovely team members, uuumm… this girl !! If you don’t know what I am talking about, it is the dreaded time for a healthcare organization to go through STATE INSPECTION!!! DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! Ok, a little over dramatic.. I know, but It is definitely as frightening as it seems. And I had just spent the last 2 days in the bed, not to mention I didn’t want to cough on or blow chunks all over that nice lady! Not to mention maje a mistake!!   But in the sense of good work ethic , and putting my best foot forward, I leaped with fair faith, and the best can do attitude I could muster up.  Although truth be known, I was scared as hell!! , this is the first time I hadn’t been able to fall back into the shadows of the unpicked luckys and sigh when the good report came back in.

My visit… well, needless to say, it was stressful, it was not an ideal situation, but my patient and family were wonderful, however … I was sweating bullets … ” I thought I had all this yuck out of my body already!!!”  Any how, after that visit, and the next, and the 2 that followed, I had reached my limit, and was HANGING BY A THREAD!!  Good idea- going to gather my supplies even with the chance of running into them at the office, no wait, that is a BAD idea, better leave that for tomorrow when I don’t feel so spent.  Better idea-  bad for me, but oh so good Chinese food take out and an ice cold beer.  Right along with a good cry,  then I should be good to go.( I told you I didn’t do well with steroids, emotional output for sure!!) !!!!    Yep, just what the Dr. ordered…

Next morning, here I am, preparing for another day, but you know, once the storm blows through, it makes it a little easier waking up the next day, and feeling just a little bit better and ok. Life isn’t always ideal, and there will be times… where scary is just too little of a word to describe all that you have to endure, but it made me realize that in the darkest of places, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.  And most of the time, just  maybe a sense of pride and accomplishment for a job well done! 🙂

 

-Climbing back up the cliff-

-Lou-